[PPS02-11] Examination of water observation procedure in lunar polar exploration
Keywords:lunar polar exploration, lunar water, volatile
In this situation, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning a lunar polar exploration mission that aims mainly to confirm the abundance of water ice resources and to establish the technology of planetary surface exploration in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)[e.g., 4]. This presentation describes the examination status of the water ice observation method for this mission.
To achieve the objectives of the mission, the following parameters are listed as constraints for selecting a landing site, taking into account the unique conditions of the lunar polar region; presence of water, surface topography, communication capability, and duration of sunshine. By superimposing these analysis results, the candidate for landing sites is selected . Currently, around 30 sites of the north and the south pole of the Moon have been identified as landing site candidates.
In this mission, the "course observation" will investigate the horizontal distribution of the surface and subsurface of the water ice existing area while traveling with the rover. And the "fine observation" will investigate the vertical distribution of underground of the water ice existing area by excavating with a drill. In the course observation, neutron spectrometer, ground-penetrating radar and imaging spectroscopy camera are being considered as model payload instruments. In the fine observation, regolith is excavated by earth auger and sampling of excavated regolith is carried out by the rover working system. And the concentration of gas generated by sample heating and the molecular species contained in the gas is measured using thermogravimetric analyzer, mass spectrometer and cavity ring-down spectroscopy analyzer, which are assumed to be model payload instruments. By performing these observations in multiple exploration areas (waypoints), ground truth data on water abundance and resource availability around the landing site will be obtained.
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